In the event that you are living with an invisible disability, I am writing this to you. To encourage you, as I need to encourage myself; to not give up. Although there may be people who want or need to deny our realities, we can still excel. We can excel in our realities. Our invisible disabilities do not have to continue to make us crazy. We can own and accept our realities and we can move forward with our lives. We can be aware. We can create a good life for ourselves. We can pursue our dreams and our destinies. We can create hope.
We can pursue our dreams and our destinies. We can create hope.
In my past three articles, Denial and Brain Injury Recovery, Brain Injury and Anger and Brain Injury, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance I shared my experience grieving my reality. A reality that remained hidden to me for many years. A reality that I needed to be able to accept, but discovered I could not do without confronting my denial, processing my anger, trying to change what I did not like and working through my depression and despondency.
In these 3 articles, I shared what helped me to realize that I was not crazy. That I was living with an invisible disability. That although I could not change my reality, I no longer had to feel limited because of my invisible disability. That I no longer had to feel stuck, because of my invisible disability. That I could succeed.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed-door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller
What I began to realize was that I am not equipped to walk through certain doors. What I also began to realize was that not being equipped to walk through certain doors, did not have to make me crazy. What I began to realize was that, although; I am not equipped to walk through certain doors, I am equipped to walk through other doors. With this realization, I experienced a new freedom.
A freedom to look for doors that would open for me.
As I shared in my article, Brain Injury, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance; I reached a bottom in my life when I realized that I could not maintain employment. I could not maintain employment in a traditional setting, regardless of how hard I had tried for many years. With this realization came the sadness that no one wanted what I had to offer. With this realization came the challenge to believe or not believe that I was inept. Inept, because the department of vocational rehabilitation had deemed me unemployable and the Social Security Administration had declared me disabled. With this realization came the awareness that I could either believe the department of vocational rehabilitation and the social security administration and do nothing or I could I could seek to follow a different path.
A path that would equip me to and lead me to walk through other doors.
Awareness: In my experience, over the years I took many interest inventories. These interest inventories helped me to understand my interests but did not show me how I could best use my gifts, talents, and abilities. What I discovered was that these interest inventories did not factor in my invisible disability. In my experience, I would have never thought I would be using my gifts, talents, and abilities writing. In college English class, use of verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, semicolons, and the like were hard for me to grasp. I now realize that my difficulties stemmed from my difficulties learning sequences of information. I share with you that I did poorly in English class. so as to encourage to not count out what you did poorly in high school or college. In my experience, I discovered that my ability to communicate through writing developed over years.
Your style of creating may take time too.
What I discovered was that although I could not do some things, I could learn how to do other things very well. So, I spent 6 more years exploring how this could be accomplished. I wrote poems, an autobiography, a book (registered but not published) and then at the encouragement of a friend, a blog Back Story of Second Chance to Live Part 1 and Back Story of Second Chance to Live Part 2. The reason that I share with you that it took me 6 more years before I found a way, is to encourage you. To encourage you to not give up exploring how to use your gifts, talents, and abilities to follow your dreams. Persistence, tenacity, being intentional and maintaining focus were and continue to be part of my process and journey. Part of my process and journey, as I continue to learn how to tweak and develop how to my craft.
And I need to stay encouraged, as more will be revealed.
Here are several links to articles that I have written that helped me that may help you, my friend: Answering the Call that Never Came Part 1, Answering the Call that Never Came Part 2, Defining the Basics of a Successful Training Camp Part 1, Defining the Basics of a Successful Training Camp Part 2, Neuroplasticity, Small Successes and Learning / Relearning Skill Sets and From Brain Injury Awareness to Brain Injury Acceptance to Creating Hope in Our Lives
Be encouraged, my friend. Doors will open for you, as they will open for me. And as I need to remember, stay committed and keep running your race.
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